PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment says a bat tested positive for rabies after biting an adult.
According to PDPHE, the incident happened in the Regency Park area.
“Unfortunately, an adult was bitten by the rabid bat and is receiving rabies vaccine to prevent illness,” stated Vicki Carlton program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Carlton added, “Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Rabies also can be transmitted if the infected animal’s saliva gets into a cut or break in the skin or through the eyes, nose, or mouth.”
Symptoms of rabies include:
- Abnormal behavior
Health officials say there is no treatment for rabies once the symptoms begin, it is fatal.
According to PDPHE, bats' teeth are very small and sharp, and a bite wound might not always be visible. If a bat comes into contact with humans or pets or one is found in a home, it should be tested for rabies. PDPHE says to immediately leave the area and take pets away from the animal.
You're asked to contact the United States Department of Agriculture (719)-355-9629 for collection and notify the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment at 583-4307 to report the incident.
PDPHE warns people to stay away from wildlife in general and to vaccinate their pets for rabies.
“Never touch or handle a bat or wild animal,” stated Carlton. Carlton added, “Protect your pets by vaccinating them against rabies through a licensed veterinarian. Rabies vaccinations must be given regularly so check your pet’s records or talk to your veterinarian,” Carlton stated.
To avoid exposure, health officials recommend the following:
- Never touch a bat or any other wild animal
- If you are bitten by a bat or other wild animal, wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water, then contact your physician and the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment
- Make sure pets are vaccinated against rabies. Keep in mind that vaccines not administered by a licensed veterinarian are not considered valid vaccinations in the State of Colorado
- If your pet is exposed to wildlife contact your veterinarian and report the incident to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment
- Protect your dog from wildlife by walking your dog on a leash
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.